Top Universities in USA 2024: Intakes, Eligibility, and More

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Top Universities in USA: Intakes, Admission Process, and More

The United States of America has long been the dream destination of individuals who are aiming for quality higher education. The country stands to its status as a ‘superpower’ when it comes to its academic strength. It has seen the birth of not just its native leaders, but many global leaders of the contemporary era. Be it any profession, there are institutes in the US providing ace education along with rewarding work experience. Owing to this quality, many gifted students from other countries immigrate to the States and later settle in the country, further advancing its pool of quality human resources. So, let us try and understand what makes the institutions in the country so special and review some of the top universities in USA with the help of this article.

Country United States of America (USA)
Popular UniversitiesStanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, etc.
IntakesFall, Spring, and Summer 
English Proficiency Test Required (IELTS / TOEFL / PTE)
Subject Proficiency ExamRequired (SAT / ACT / GMAT / GRE)
Average Cost of Study UG: $32,000 (INR 23,82,704)PG: $35,000 (INR 26,06,082)
Scholarships Available 
Student VisaF-1 Visa, M-1 Visa, J-1 Visa
Best Student Cities New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC

Perks of Studying in Universities in USA

The USA has grown so high in its global stature over the years that its educational prowess needs no introduction. Apart from the world-leading living conditions and efficient course structure, USA education system has numerous features that draw students from across the oceans to pursue a degree in the land of opportunities. Here are some of them:

  • Pursuing higher education in the USA comes packaged with an opportunity to experience the 1st world lifestyle for all students. It is not just fulfilling, but a learning experience for students as they learn how to better conduct themselves personally and professionally.
  • Universities in USA top the rankings chart every coming year for good reason. Presently, Universities in USA are the most prolific in producing polished talent for a variety of disciplines and domains. Not only they are recognized all over the world, but individuals holding degrees from these universities also hold a niche in the eyes of the recruiters owing to the sheer brand value of American universities.
  • While the standard tuition fees may be high for students, American universities offer generous scholarship opportunities to domestic and foreign students alike to study in USA. Students with innate endowments can find it easy to score a scholarship for pursuing their course.
  • Individuals who do not wish to limit themselves to a master’s degree must seriously consider pursuing higher education in the states. The research opportunities and resources available with the universities are unparalleled in the whole world. Having a degree from the USA can make it easier to pursue a PhD from the same country or even the same university.

Intakes in USA 

International universities offer multiple intakes through which they allow international students to become a part of them. In USA these intakes are available for three terms such as fall, spring, and summer. Generally, fall intake is considered to be the most popular among Indian students as it fits best with the Indian academic sessions. The majority of the programs are open in both fall and spring intakes whereas comparatively lesser programs are available for summer intake. Let us take a detailed look at all three intakes. 

Intakes Duration
Fall IntakeAugust to December 
Spring IntakeJanuary to April 
Summer IntakeMay to August

Top 50 Best Universities in USA 

It would not be hyperbole to call the USA the Land of Modern Learning. The States offers hundreds of world-known Universities which provide pathbreaking education and set new milestones every day in the field of research and academics. Here are some of the leading universities in the country offering a variety of courses:

UniversitiesLocation QS World University Rankings- 2024
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Cambridge#1
Stanford UniversityStanford #5
Harvard UniversityCambridge#4
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)Pasadena#15
University of ChicagoChicago#11
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia#12
Yale UniversityNew Haven#16
Columbia UniversityNew York City#23
Princeton UniversityPrinceton#=17
Cornell UniversityIthaca#13
University of Michigan-Ann ArborAnn Arbor#33
Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore#28
Northwestern UniversityEvanston#=47
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)Berkeley#10

University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles#29
New York University (NYU)New York City#=38
University of California, San DiegoSan Diego#62
Duke UniversityDurham#57
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh#52
Brown UniversityProvidence#=73
The University of Texas at AustinAustin#58
University of Wisconsin-Madison#102
The University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaign#64
University of WashingtonSeattle#63
Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta#97
Rice UniversityHouston#=145
Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park#83
The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill#=132
Washington University in St. LouisSt. Louis#=154
Boston UniversityBoston#=93
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles#116
Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette#99
The Ohio State UniversityColumbus#=151
University of CaliforniaDavis#=118
University of California, Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara#163
University of RochesterRochester#224
Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing#136
University of MarylandCollege Park#=169
Emory UniversityAtlanta#=166
Case Western Reserve UniversityCleveland#255
University of PittsburghPittsburgh#=222
Texas A & M UniversityCollege Station#=134
University of FloridaGainesville#168
University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesMinneapolis#195
Dartmouth CollegeHanover#=237
Arizona State UniversityPhoenix#179
Vanderbilt UniversityNashville#261
University of Notre DameNotre Dame#=304
University of VirginiaCharlottesville#260
University of California, IrvineIrvine#=268

Also Read: University of Oslo Masters: Courses, Fees, and Eligibility

Famous Universities in USA

Here are some of the top-rated and world-renowned universities in USA that are described below:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

A constant feature among the top Universities in the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a premier private institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Apart from its research prowess, MIT is particularly known for its technical courses, most of which are centred around the field of technology and innovation. Some of the most popular courses hosted by MIT are:

  • Aeronautics and Aerospace Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Biological Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Military Science 

The university is associated with as many as 93 Nobel Laureates to this date, creating wonders for humankind in all fields of life. 

Stanford University

Named after the founding senator Leland Stanford, Stanford is a name synonymous with quality higher education all around the world. Stanford University is quite rewarding with its academic environment, reflected by the freshman retention rate of 98%. The University has an annual enrolment of over 15,000 students, across its seven dedicated schools:

  • Humanities 
  • Sciences 
  • Business 
  • Education 
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine

The school has a remarkable campus environment, spanning an area of over 8,000 acres, full of cultural diversity among students and faculty. This is reflected in the laurels won by its alumnus, with about 17 Nobel laureates in the Stanford community. In addition to its degree courses, the university has a renowned research facility, with more than 6,800 projects currently underway with an estimated budget of 1.6 billion dollars.

Harvard University

Established as early as 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States of America. This gigantic university houses about 2400 faculty members and more than 22,000 full-time and part-time students. It is a culmination of 12-degree schools, the most popular among which are:

  • Harvard Business School 
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences 
  • Harvard Law School

The university is particularly known for its MBA course, producing many able leaders throughout history like Bill Gates and Ratan Tata. And not just corporate leaders, and ex-presidents of the USA, Barrack Obama is also an alumnus of the organization.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Previously known as Throop University, Caltech has seen rapid growth in the past years in its recognition as one of the leading educational institutes in the world. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, Caltech is a research institute known for its expertise in Natural Sciences and Engineering. With an admit rate as low as 8%, Caltech is made for those who are driven towards their goals, as the university houses, all the resources students can need to further their education. Some of the most popular subjects chosen by students for various courses at Caltech are:

  • Earth Sciences
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics

The university has a pretty strong alumni network, with many alumni working at the university, while as many as 74 are Nobel Laureates as of today.

Students applying to the USA can study at top universities that pursue their chosen courses without the burden of submitting IELTS scores. Here are some popular universities that allow students to study without IELTS:

Top Universities in USA for UG Courses 

BBAHarvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University
Bachelor of PhysicsStanford University, The University of Chicago, MIT
B.Sc. in NursingThe University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles, University of Washington
B.Sc. in Computer ScienceHarvard University, Stanford University, MIT
B.Sc. in ChemistryUniversity of California Los Angeles, Princeton University, Columbia University
B.Sc. in Civil EngineeringCalifornia Institute of Technology, Yale University, John Hopkins University
B.Sc. in Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California San Diego, University of Washington, New York University
B.Sc. in BiologyHarvard University, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University
B. Sc. in PhysicsHarvard University, Stanford University, MIT
B.A. in EconomicsNorthwestern University, University of Michigan, Cornell University
B.A. in PsychologyHarvard University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley

Top Universities in USA for PG Courses 

MBAHarvard University, Stanford University, MIT
M.S. in Computer EngineeringUniversity of California, Columbia University, Yale University
M.S. in FinanceHarvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania
MSNYale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Los Angeles
M.S. in Biomedical EngineeringJohn Hopkins, UniversityDuke, University, Stanford University
M.S. in MathematicsUniversity of California, Harvard University, Stanford University
M.Sc. in EconomicsThe University of Chicago, Cornell University, Columbia University
M.S. in StatisticsUniversity of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Stanford University
M.S. in MarketingGeorgia State University, University of Washington, Duke University
M.S. in Mechanical EngineeringHarvard University, University of Washington, New York University
M.S. in Artificial IntelligenceStanford University, Columbia University, Northwestern University
M.S. in RoboticsUniversity of Michigan, Ann ArborNew York University

Best Universities in USA for MBA

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • The Wharton School
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • John Hopkins Carey Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • Columbia Business School
  • Stern School of Business, NYU
  • Yale School of Management

Top Universities in USA for Doctoral Courses

Ph.D. in Computer ScienceHarvard University, Stanford University, MIT
Ph.D. in Business AdministrationColumbia University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley
Ph.D. in Mechanical EngineeringStanford University, Duke University, Columbia University
Ph.D. in NeuroscienceStanford University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular BiologyHarvard University, MIT, John Hopkins University
Ph.D. in Data ScienceStanford University, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University
Ph.D. in StatisticsYale University, University of California Berkeley, University of Washington
Ph.D. in GeneticsMIT, Harvard University, Boston University
Ph.D. in AnthropologyStanford University, MIT, Columbia University
Ph.D. in ImmunologyThe University of Chicago Stanford, University Harvard University

Cheapest Universities in USA

  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • Arkansas State University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Brooklyn College
  • University of Louisiana–Monroe
  • Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Northwest Missouri State University
  • Dakota State University

Top Universities in USA: Eligibility Criteria

When exploring the top Universities in the USA, it is essential to map how students can get a place in those universities themselves. While premier institutes are demanding by default, here is a set of criteria that will help you set the course of direction for your efforts:

  • Naturally, students must have a valid USA student Visa with validity as long as the educational venture. This includes the course term, as well as any work experience that the students may seek in the USA.
  • For undergraduate courses, students must have good academic performance in their high school exams. Similarly, for masters, students must have a decent score in their graduation course.
  • Most universities require students to appear for an ability test. At the undergraduate level, SAT is a commonly accepted aptitude test for a variety of courses, especially in the USA. At the postgraduate level, tests like GMAT and GRE are given adequate weightage.
  • English proficiency exams like IELTS and TOEFL are a must not just for the USA, but any predominantly English-speaking country.
  • All universities in USA have slight variations in their application procedure and requirements, hence it is highly advisable to visit the website of preferred universities to be prepared with all the requirements for the university.

Note: In the light of present situations owing to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the US authorities have made changes in their immigration and visa policies. The universities have also temporarily changed their course term and timings. Students are advised to stay updated about the present scenario and take steps accordingly. Here is a blog to assist you further: How to Study Abroad Amid the Havoc of Coronavirus

Related Read: Best Engineering Colleges in the USA

Admission Process to Study in USA

The process for applying to study in the USA involves a bunch of important steps that must be completed within the given period. To help you in the given process, we have devised some simple steps along with important documents that you will be needing at the respective step to study in the USA-

  • STEP 1: Make a list of 8-10 colleges of your choice.
  • STEP 2: Fill out Your Application Form.
  • STEP 3: Collect supporting documents like academic transcripts, the result of the previous institution, English proficiency test result, CV, statement of purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation (LOR), and other things. We recommend you check out the requirements section of your desired institutions.
  • STEP 4: Now start signing up accounts online on the website of universities to submit
    your application.
  • STEP 5: Some universities might ask for a WES evaluation (Just an evaluation which may cost $100-$160 (INR 7,500- 11,800) to ensure that you’re capable enough to study in the US) of your mark sheet. It may take 2 months to get your mark sheet evaluated
  • STEP 6: Once you submit all the required documents, they will inform and instruct you to pay the academic fee.
  • STEP 7: Now you will get an I-20 form and acceptance which will help you get a
    student visa.

Cost of Studying in USA

The cost of studying is an essential part of every student’s study abroad plan. Along with the tuition fee, a candidate also has to manage living expenses on their own. The USA is an expensive study destination as the living expenses can be too high. Depending upon the location of the university one picks, the overall expenditure varies. If your chosen study destination lies in a suburban or rural area the overall cost of living would automatically come down in comparison to urban campuses. Here is a table that shows the average cost of studying in the US: 

Degree TypePrivate University Government UniversityCommunity College
Undergraduate$32,000 (INR 23,00,00)$24,000 (INR 17,80,000)$200 Per Credit (INR 15,000)
Postgraduate$35,000 (INR 26,00,00)$30,000 (INR 22,50,000)$250 Per Credit (INR 18,500)
MBA$60,000 (INR 45,00,00)$48,000 (INR 36,00,000)

Student Visa to Study in USA

Here comes the most complicated part of studying in the USA. So pay attention if you want the dream of studying in the USA to be a reality. As an international student, one must have the right type of student visa to avoid any type of hassle in entering the country. Before starting the procedure, you must first understand that there are three types of visas for Indian students:

F-1 VisaFor those students who have been accepted into a full-time academic degree program at any recognized American university or college. Moreover, if any student’s study load is more than 18 hours a week, then he or she will also need this visa.
M-1 VisaThis is suitable for those students who are indulging in vocational or non-academic study programs.
J-1 VisaThis visa is for such students who get enrolled in an educational exchange program. In such a program, students remain enrolled at their home college or university while studying in the US. After the end of a fixed exchange agreement, students return home to get their qualifications. However, if your programs are longer than 18 hours a week as an exchange student, then you have to apply for the F-1 visa. 

Relevant Links:

Scholarships at Top Universities in USA 

ScholarshipsUniversityGrant Amount
Academic Scholars AwardHarvard University67,000 USD
Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship ProgramStanford University150,000 USD
MIT ScholarshipsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyFull or partial cost of studying
Helen Lansdowne Resor ScholarshipColumbia University10,000 USD
UChicago ScholarshipsThe University of Chicago10,000 USD
Bershadsky Family Scholarship in Science or EngineeringPrinceton University10,000 USD
University GrantsYale UniversityUp to 74,000 USD
Knight ScholarshipCornell UniversityUp to 40,000 USD

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Can I study in USA for free?

Yes, it is feasible to study for free in the United States. There are several scholarships available in which students can obtain full coverage of their primary expenditures such as tuition, housing, health insurance, and so on.

Can I study in USA after 12th?

Yes, it is possible to study in USA once you have completed your class 12th. A plethora of UG courses is available in an array of traditional as well as trending fields. However, the majority of the students opt to pursue STEM courses in the USA. To select the best UG course, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu.

Which university in the USA is the cheapest?

Here is a list of 6 most affordable universities in USA for international students:
The City University of New York
University of the People
Alcorn State University in Mississippi
Minot State University in North Dakota
South Texas College
California State University, Long Beach

Which university is free in USA?

The list of top tuition-free universities in USA for international students is as follows:
Berea College
College of the Ozarks
Curtis Institute of Music
City University of New York (CUNY)
U.S. Academies
State of Washington Universities
Alice Lloyd College
Webb Institute

This concludes the insight on top Universities in the USA. If you are enamoured by the plethora of opportunities in the United States of America and want to delve deeper into the world of quality foreign education, we can provide you with just the right assistance. At Leverage Edu, we are designed to cater to all your foreign higher education needs. Right from choosing the correct University and course combination to the enrollment and admission procedures, we have got your back. So, let’s begin with a free e-meeting with our career experts to set the sails to success today!

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